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A study of tides and currents in Cook Strait, New Zealand
Walters, R.A.; Gillibrand, P.A.; Bell, R.G.; Lane, E.M. (2010). A study of tides and currents in Cook Strait, New Zealand. Ocean Dynamics 60(6): 1559-1580.
In: Ocean Dynamics. Springer-Verlag: Berlin; Heidelberg; New York. ISSN 1616-7341, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Walters, R.A.
  • Gillibrand, P.A.
  • Bell, R.G.
  • Lane, E.M.

    Greater Cook Strait (GCS) lies between the North and the South Islands of New Zealand. Its location at the convergence of the Pacific and Indo-Australian tectonic plates leads to interesting bathymetry with an adjacent shallow shelf and deep ocean trench as well as numerous crossing faults and complex shoreline geometry. Our purpose in this study is to examine tides and currents in GCS and, in particular, identify the major forcing mechanisms for the residual currents. Toward this end, we use an unstructured-grid numerical model to reproduce the tides and currents, verify these results with observations and then use the model to separate the various forcing mechanisms. The physical forcing includes nonlinear generation from tides and tidal currents, differences in sea level between the Pacific Ocean and Tasman Sea boundaries, density variations, wind stress and river discharge into GCS. Each of these mechanisms is important in different areas.

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